Dear readers of my blog,
finally I am continuing with my childhood memories. In my last post from that time I told you about a “smelly” prank which we played on our art teacher. We were lucky that we didn’t all all get kicked out of school except for our class mate who had masterminded this “evil deed.” She had already a bad reputation for being disrespectful and causing frequent troubles. She seemed unperturbed by her suspension because she wanted to quit school anyways to have a fun life.. With a big grin on her face and a twinkle in her bright blue eyes she happily waved us good bye
Even without her, we played another prank on a teacher who , however, reacted with good humor and did not retaliate.
This teacher had newly arrived from the GDR, the other side of the divided Germany as a refugee. He was a skinny man whose pants would often precariously slide down when he stood at the board explaining mathematical formulas with great passion for his subject. We, however, tried to figure out or estimate how many times during his lengthy instructions he would pull up his irritating pants. We would stare at him with intense concentration and fascination, which he took as a compliment for his lively teaching style.
One girl in our class was the daughter of the vice principal. She told us that our math teacher was bragging in the staff room how focused we were on his instructions. Some of the other teachers had voiced concerns that our class was easily distracted or not attentive during their instruction times. She also found out our math teacher’s birthday.
We decided to surprise him with a unique and useful gift. On his birthday, our teacher started to present us with a lesson on an especially exciting algebraic problem. After he had pulled up his deviant pants frantically for the tenth time, the top math student asked very respectfully, if we could take a short break. She informed him that the class wanted to wish him a Happy Birthday and present him with a gift. Our teacher looked perplexed. Maybe he was calculating the odds of such an unusual event happening to him. Teachers at that time never received birthday gifts from students.
The top math student, a quiet girl, politely shook his hand to wish him a happy birthday. Shyly she handed him a small package while the rest of us shouted our congratulations. A bit hesitantly our teacher started to open the little gift. He looked surprised and slightly amused when he pulled out a pair of fancy suspenders. To his credit, he was a good sport. He thanked us profusely for this most useful gift. To our delight and a bit of shame he even tried them on before finishing his “exciting” lesson without his usual wardrobe malfunctions.
He must have received another present after school for his birthday; a pair of well fitting pants. No more need for suspenders. Unfortunately from that day on, our attention to his instructions left much to be desired. Did he ever figure out the unknown variable for this decline?
By a funny twist of fate, I married a math teacher who had the same ” pants sliding problem” during his exciting teaching career. However, his students never had a bright idea to help alleviate his problem.